Letter to the Editor: Hazelwood School District Releases Statement Regarding Supplier, Workforce Diversity Program

In response to last week's NAACP claims that the Hazelwood School District is violating its Supplier Workforce Diversity Program, the district has issued a rebuttal.

The has been committed to supplier and workforce diversity for many years and has implemented policies and procedures to support that commitment. 

The Hazelwood Board of Education recognizes the importance of its continuing leadership role in these areas and constantly seeks to improve results regarding its supplier and workforce diversity. 

Recent media reports suggest Hazelwood Schools are in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That is not true. While we have a legal opinion that the Hazelwood School District is in compliance with Title VI, the Board of Education believes it is even more important for the community to recognize its long standing and continuing commitment to be a leader in workforce and supplier diversity.  

The Hazelwood School District has documented results and awards recognizing its outstanding accomplishments in the area of supplier diversity on our past and current construction projects. For example, HSD earned the St. Louis Minority Supplier Development Institution of the Year Award and the MOKAN Institution of the Year Award. We have also been a finalist for the St. Louis Minority Supplier Development Institution of the Year Award for the past two years.

Currently, with 39 percent Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) participation on Phase III bond issue construction projects, HSD has surpassed our goal of 25 percent MBE participation. Our pioneering leadership in this area is well known among Minority Business Enterprises and Women Business Enterprises throughout St. Louis County. This has improved our workforce diversity, but more can still be done. 

As part of our ongoing and long-term commitment to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, we are now ready to move our efforts to the next level. We will be working in partnership with our contractors to help assure a representative minority workforce on our projects. This partnership, in part, will involve state-of-the-art technology to better monitor the percentage of minority workers on our projects.   

We invite the public to attend our January 17th Board of Education meeting to hear a full presentation on these next steps in our ongoing efforts to y. The Board of Education meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., and will be held at the HSD Learning Center at 15955 New Halls Ferry Road in Florissant.

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